Opinion Former Article

Big £1 coin, big difference - Biggest Lottery award decided by public vote

A giant coin is being unveiled this morning to mark the opening of telephone voting lines in the Big Lottery Fund's The People's £50 Million contest. The giant 25ft, 12 ton pound coin, located in Potters Field, London, symbolises the £50 million Lottery Good Cause investment BIG is about to make through a nation-wide competition, with the biggest-ever Lottery award to be decided by public vote.

Four projects of national significance are going head-to-head in a bid to win the massive £50 million grant, which of these deserving projects wins will be decided by the public.

Friday 7th December marks the opening of the telephone voting lines following four days of programmes on ITV1 showcasing each of the four short listed projects. The public can vote by phone from 9am on Friday 7th December or online at www.thepeoples50million.org.uk until noon on Monday 10th December. The winning project will be announced on ITV1 on Wednesday 12th December.

The phone vote numbers for the four short listed projects are **:

  • Eden Project: The Edge 0870 24 24 601
  • Sustrans, Connect2 0870 24 24 602
  • Sherwood: The Living Legend 0870 24 24 603
  • Black Country Urban Park 0870 24 24 604

** Typetalk users should dial 18001 before the number they want to vote for.
Maximum call charge 10p from a BT landline, calls from mobiles and other operators may be higher. No profits are made by ITV or BIG from your calls. Or vote online, www.thepeoples50million.org.uk. There is no charge for online entry but service provider charges may apply. Lines open at 9am Friday 7th December 2007 and close at midday Monday 10th December 2007. Phone entries made before lines open or after the closing time will not be counted but may still be charged. For terms and conditions visit itv.com/terms

The giant coin is seven metres high and 70cm deep - large enough to hold all 50 million pound coins up for grabs! The structure was created by scanning in a real pound coin and using 3-D data to design and cut all the materials used; transported to the site in two sections, the finished structure weighs in at a whopping 12 tons. Made from wood from a sustainable source, the coin will be recycled and all materials reused following it's time at Potters Field.

The BIG Lottery Fund and ITV have been giving viewers the chance to vote on their favourite regional community projects for the last three years but this is the first time the nation has been given a say on where £50 million of the people's Lottery funding should go to benefit a project of national importance.

The People's £50million Lottery Giveaway programmes have been broadcast on ITV1 all week following the evening news and can be viewed again online at www.thepeoples50million.org.uk. The winning project will be announced on ITV1 Wednesday 12th December.

Sir Clive Booth, Chair of the BIG Lottery Fund said: "The People's £50 Million Lottery contest is a truly ground-breaking initiative, giving everyone in the UK the opportunity to decide which of these highly deserving projects will receive the single biggest award of BIG Lottery funding through pubic vote. The giant coin in London today signifies the huge amount of Lottery cash going back into the UK - showing that your £1 really does make a huge difference, so get involved and vote for your favourite project."

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Further Information available from BIG Lottery Press Office at Cake:

Laura Bonney Jodie Butt
T: 020 7307 3194 T: 020 7307 3127
E: laura@cakegroup.com E: jodie@cakegroup.com
M: 07791 717708 M: 07791 717726

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888 Out of Hours Contact: 07867 500 572

Notes to Editors

Images from the shortlisted projects are available from BIG Press Office at CAKE, see above.

Interviews are available with project representatives and with Stephen Dunmore, Chief Executive of the BIG Lottery Fund.

  • Since its launch in June 2005, Living Landmarks has been supporting projects that make a significant positive contribution to the social and environmental quality of life in the UK.
  • Each year Big Lottery Fund is responsible for allocating half the money for good causes raised by the National Lottery, amounting to around £630 million a year.

Voting arrangements:
The following arrangements for voting have been agreed by Big Lottery Fund and ITV with guidance from Electoral Reform Services.

We will allow only one vote per recognised telephone number or email address.

Voting will open for internet voting at www.thepeoples50million.org.uk on 26 November at 9.00 am and close at 12.00 noon on Monday 10 December.

Internet voting will allow a registered user to change their vote at any point between 9.00 a.m. on 26 November 2007 and 12.00 noon on Monday 10 December. The preference at close of voting will be counted as their vote.

Telephone voting will open at 9.00 am on Friday 7 December and close at 12.00 noon on Monday 10 December.

Programmes will be broadcast on successive evenings Monday 3 December to Thursday 6 December. A round up programme will be shown on Friday 7 December.

The order of broadcast has been:

  • Monday 3 December - Eden Project: the Edge
  • Tuesday 4 December - Sustrans' Connect2
  • Wednesday 5 December - Sherwood: The Living Legend
  • Thursday 6 December - Black Country Urban Park

There will be a round up programme on Friday 7 December. The result will be announced on Wednesday 12 December.

Please note: ITV always reserves the right to change its programme schedules.

Guidance

As voting will allow 1 vote per recognised telephone number, some phone systems using switchboards will only be able to vote once.

Systems are in place to monitor and carry out checks for voting from 'number withheld' phone lines.

Systems are in place to monitor and carry out checks where multiple email votes are received from a single IP address.

Voting from numbers outside the UK will not be permitted.

Electoral Reform Services will be reviewing data throughout the voting period. Their role is to provide advice and certify the final result.

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